Three strike rule to be introduced for EU filesharers

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European users have a "right to an effective and timely judicial review" before their internet connection is restricted, the EU has decided.

During discussions held last night on the EU Telecoms Reform, member states concluded that three strike rules to cut off internet user's access would be allowed but only after a "prior fair and impartial procedure or timely judicial review."

Viviane Reding, the EU Telecoms Commissioner involved heavily with the reform, said in a statement: "The new internet freedom provision represents a great victory for the rights and freedoms of European citizens."

She added: "The debate between Parliament and Council has also clearly shown that we need find new, more modern and more effective ways in Europe to protect intellectual property and artistic creation."

Business secretary Peter Mandelson brought forward the controversial plans to cut off people's internet access in August this year in a bid to combat internet piracy. However, many ISPs, as well as rights groups, disagreed with the plan and called for a fairer system.

The reform package also included the right for users to change mobile or fixed operators in one working day whilst keeping the same number, consumer protection against personal data breaches and the introduction of a new European Telecoms Authority to ensure fair competition.

A final set of voting on the reforms will take place in this month and, if successful, it will be incorporated into EU countries' law in 2010.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.